Chew on this

Was there ever a better week than this one? What a stew of stuff! If you could clip-and-save a week, this might be the one.

We’re not really sure how to digest this multi-course meal. Set upon a mise en place of Mammoth’s municipal bankruptcy, airport subsidies and the closure of June Mountain Ski Area, we might have thought this could have been a poisonous week.

But it wasn’t. We had a fine time at our French, Eastside, multi-course feast.

The Hors D’oeuvres: The Mammoth Food & Wine Experience last weekend was a revelation. There was so much food, so much wine and we had so much fun that it was almost easy to overlook the food seminars. Congratulations to Juliana Olinka and the Mammoth Lakes Foundation. A worthy cause (education) and a boatload of fun made for a terrific couple of days and evenings.

The Fish Course: Here we defer to Tim Alpers and Tom Cruise.

In Hollywood, the people who work with the animals are called “animal wranglers.” In this case, it was our own Alpers who wrangled his famous Alpers trout for Cruise. Tim was busy, trying to get his lunkers to slow down enough so that the actor could lift one from a pond and then, ahem, talk to it (There is a joke somewhere in here about Katie Holmes, but we have to work on that). This was all in the name of “Oblivion,” the post-apocalyptic sci-fi moving picture production that is/was filming in June Lake.

The Main Course: This is usually an elaborate meat or poultry dish accompanied by a vegetable garnish. We had a tasty choice this week. There was the contentious meeting in June Lake as to the fate of the ski area there, garnished by none other than Rusty Gregory.

The other option was the Mammoth Lakes Town Council’s contentious confab over the fate of airport subsidies, garnished with a side of $400,000 in Measure U funds.

The Salad Course: Traditionally, simple greens tossed with vinaigrette are served as a means of cleansing the palate and aiding digestion. Modern French cuisine has brought about some very elaborate salads and dressing flavors. For us, we’ll serve the June Lake Triathlon, and if that doesn’t cleanse a palate, we don’t know what would. Every competitor looked like Zeus or Athena, and sometimes both at the same time.

The Cheese Plate: You want cheesy? We had cheesy, once again thanks to the presence of Mr. Cruise. There were paparazzi in the bushes, and June Lakers strolled their beloved burg with cameras at the ready. Everyone tried—and failed—to act nonchalant about it, as if this kind of thing happens all the time.

The Sweet Dessert Course: Special occasions call for a treat. French desserts are indulgent, rich, and so beautifully decorated. We’ll take the Jazz Jubilee in a heartbeat. Special kudos, once again, to impresarios Ken and Flossie Coulter. It’s the only time of the year we swap “snowboard-rock ‘n’ roll chic” to “Q-tip chic,” and if that’s not refreshing, it is at least mighty different.

So go ahead: Eat, drink, be contentious, be merry, listen to some tunes and enjoy the summertime.
This year, so far, it’s been a feast.